It is the evening of Valentine’s Day and I am in my parents’ house where my presence is always welcome and the food is always free. I’m wearing my comfiest pajamas, have no makeup on and my hair is knotted in a mess at the top of my head. It’s only 8 pm but I’m nestled under warm sheets with a movie loading on my laptop and I have no intention of getting up until tomorrow morning. I am gloriously, wonderfully alone.
Most people think there is something wrong with that.
What is our aversion to singleness, you guys? Why is the only good version of Valentine’s day the one where you’re out on a date? And why, WHY, do I want that version so bad?
Oh, I’m sorry. Were you looking for a post teeming with self-confidence and assurances that I am perfectly happy not having someone to call my Valentine? Better keep looking, y’all.
The truth is I don’t know if I could say I’m perfectly happy being single. In fact, sometimes being single really sucks. It sucks when I pass a couple arm in arm and I realize I have nowhere to put my hand except my pocket. It sucks when I want to go out but my best friends have significant others or, even worse, spouses to go home to. (You know who you are.) It sucks when I outwardly roll my eyes at the over commercialized shamble Valentine’s Day has become but secretly think it might not be so bad to have someone send me flowers and chocolate and a sappy card to boot.
And these sucky parts of being single on Valentine’s Day? They started many, many moons ago. Back when we used to exchange valentines in elementary school and I realized some kids had bigger piles of cards than I did. Or middle school when we upgraded to candy grams and cheap carnations and I’d sit hoping that someone would drop a package on my desk. Just one, please, please, please. But they didn’t.
I think at the core of it, being single on Valentine’s Day brings up fears that perhaps I am not wanted. Perhaps I’m not good enough. Perhaps I am inherently less than because I’m not part of a pair.
This deep-rooted fear of mine has provided the soil for some of Satan’s biggest lies. And like most lies, they start out sounding kind of charming. A little idealistic. Like something you read out of a fairytale.
“You complete me.”
Umm, you guys? What? You “complete” me? What does that even mean? That I’m walking around like a fraction of myself, hoping that someone will show up with the missing piece?
I don’t buy it, you guys. It doesn’t make sense because it contradicts what we read in the Word, which is the living truth and an account of the One who is trustworthy. The Word tells us that in marriage, “two become one flesh.” Two become one. Not one half and another half become one. Two, completely separate yet completely whole individuals, become one.
The truth is, even in my singleness, I am complete. Not because I have it all together, but because Christ crucified lives in me. The fullness of my identity is hidden in Him and by understanding more of who He is, I find more of who I am. And who I am is already loved. Loved to death.
So to all my single friends: you are not lacking because you are not in a relationship. You are not any less of yourself. I know it can be lonely but I will be here for you like you are here for me and we’re going to be fine.
And to all my friends who are not single: forgive me for my moments of jealousy. Please be patient with me. Know that I am truly happy for you and I’m grateful for the lessons you and your loved one teach me.
To all of us: Happy Valentine’s Day. May we always know that perfect Love has already chosen us. May we always know that He is enough.